Houston Police Department Suspended Cases

In a recent and concerning revelation, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner disclosed that an internal review of the Houston Police Department’s case management system uncovered a startling number of cases, approximately 260,000, that had been classified as suspended due to a lack of personnel.

In response to this alarming disclosure, District J Council Member Edward Pollard expressed deep disappointment, emphasizing the need for immediate action to restore public trust. “I understand that HPD is spread thin, and they work extremely hard to keep our city safe. But based on this issue, we have to take the necessary steps to repair the trust that has been lost with our community,” Pollard stated.

To address the backlog, HPD has allocated 32 employees to review the suspended adult sexual assault cases actively. This move is part of a broader effort to reassess how cases are classified and ensure that leads and evidence are pursued diligently.

Councilman Pollard, along with other city council members, has pledged to closely monitor the situation, ensuring that the HPD takes all necessary steps to resolve these issues comprehensively. The commitment to stay on top of this matter underlines the city officials’ dedication to accountability and the well-being of Houston’s residents.

Bissonnet Barricades Complete

In a significant move to curb long-standing issues of prostitution, human trafficking, and criminal activity, Bissonnet Street in southwest Houston, historically known as the “Bissonnet Track,” has undergone a transformative change. Certain sections along Bissonnet now have fixed barricades, a strategy aimed at revitalizing the neighborhood and ensuring public safety. This initiative was a collaborative effort led by the Houston Police Department (HPD), Council Member Edward Pollard’s office and Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones. This effort not only aims to reduce illegal activities but also to save significant taxpayer money previously spent on police overtime and temporary measures. With these permanent structures in place, Bissonnet Street, now aspiring to be known as the Bissonnet Corridor, is witnessing a notable decrease in crime and a shift towards economic development and community restoration. This transformation is a testament to the power of collaborative community and governmental efforts in creating safer and more vibrant urban spaces.

District J Patrol in Action

It’s not every day that the public gets to see officers with the District J Patrol in action. Recently, patrol officers found a vehicle in Keegan’s Bayou behind the 8000 block of S. Braeswood. Special thanks to HPD’s Differential Response Team for taking care of this abandoned automobile.

District J Patrol Is the Model for Other Districts

When Council Member Pollard created the District J Patrol (DJP), it was with the idea that the Patrol could be a model for other districts in the greater Houston area. The DJP exists to address minor, quality-of-life neighborhood issues before they lead to major crimes. Recently, the Houston Chronicle newspaper published a front-page article on the DJP and a similar program being adopted by District H Council Member Mario Castillo. Since implementing the program a few years ago, District J staff members have received positive responses from constituents and officers alike.

Real Estate Development Symposium

When real estate developers build properties within the city limits, Houston residents benefit from the taxes generated by those structures. This was just one of the topics Council Member Pollard discussed as a speaker at the Empowering Minority Developers Transformative Real Estate Builders and Developers Symposium at HCC Eastside Campus. CM Pollard, along with Commissioner Tom Ramsey, spoke about city and county dynamics as it relates to building, development, investment, infrastructure, and public safety. The event had an amazing turnout and great participation from those interested in this topic. Special thanks to Vanessa Cole of Cole Klein Builders for her leadership, coordination, and effort in organizing the event.

Decommissioned Homeless Encampment

A homeless encampment at the intersection of Beechnut and Wilcrest has successfully been decommissioned. More than half of the unhoused individuals agreed to receive help at the Housing Navigation Center, where they worked with case managers to be placed into permanent housing. Special thanks to the Coalition for the Homeless, Harris County, Harris Center, Harmony House, the Solid Waste Department, HPD, and other agencies.

Grand Lake Dilapidated House

The District J office worked with the Department of Neighborhoods to get an unsecured and dilapidated house demolished. The structure was located in the 5000 block of Grand Lake in District J. It had been in poor condition since approximately 2017, following Hurricane Harvey. The house had large holes in the roof, which allowed mold and critters to overrun the property. Blighted homes become an eyesore in the neighborhood, attract nefarious activity and lowers property values.

Braeburn Neighborhood Resilience Planning Meeting

The Planning Department is hosting its final Neighborhood Resilience Planning public meeting on Thursday, March 7, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at the Bayland Park Community Center. The purpose of the public meeting is to present the final results to the community, celebrate their achievements, and encourage participants to prioritize projects.

Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council

Council Member Pollard attended the Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council at Houston Community College West Loop Campus. He addressed the crowd by sharing updates on projects and events happening in the district that will affect the Gulfton neighborhood.


Sharpstown Trail Groundbreaking

Council Member Pollard joined other dignitaries at the groundbreaking ceremony for the much-anticipated Sharpstown Trail, a project that promises to bring a new 1.8-mile hike and bike path to the area. This trail will stretch through the Centerpoint easement along Gessner, from Beechnut to near Harwin, offering a fresh perspective on utilizing spaces typically reserved for commercial electrical use for community recreation and connectivity.

This initiative, born from the aspirations of the local community, owes its inception to the collective efforts of Charmaine LeBlanc, the Sharpstown Civic Association, and the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. Their dedication and continuous effort have been pivotal in bringing this vision to life.

Funded through a collaboration involving TIRZ 20 and Commissioner Lesley Briones’ office, the project boasts a budget of over $3 million. The Southwest Management District will maintain the trail, ensuring its longevity and sustainability. The project has also benefited from the coordination and leadership of the Houston Parks Board and the collaborative efforts of Houston Parks and Recreation, which will incorporate the trail into the city’s park inventory. The generosity of Centerpoint in allowing public access to the easement has been crucial, along with the professional contributions of Cobb Fendley for engineering, SWA Group for the original design, and Hawes Hill for administrative support.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by numerous city officials, including Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex Tatum and Council Members Sallie Alcorn, Willie Davis, and Julian Ramirez. Additional backing comes from Rep. Gene Wu and Congressman Green, the latter of whom has been instrumental in securing federal funding that helped initiate the project and promises continued support for future capital investments.

The Sharpstown Trail, expected to be completed by Fall 2024, stands as a beacon of community transformation and development within District J. The project exemplifies how seemingly simple additions, like a trail, can significantly enhance the communal and aesthetic value of an area, signaling a bright future for District J and its residents.


Ninety Years Young: A Milestone Birthday for a Cherished Resident

Council Member Pollard had the distinct honor of joining the 90th birthday celebration for a cherished District J resident, Ms. Bettye Reese Richardson. During the festive occasion, he surprised her with a heartfelt presentation of a Certificate of Recognition, celebrating both her milestone birthday and her numerous contributions over the years.

This gesture underscored the importance of recognizing the enduring impact of Houston’s residents like Ms. Richardson, whose efforts have significantly shaped the community. The council member’s visit to Ms. Richardson’s birthday party not only highlighted her remarkable achievements but also served as a testament to the value of acknowledging and thanking those who have dedicated themselves to the betterment of the city.

West Houston Chamber Business Summit

The Houston West Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Summit at the Norris Conference Center, where Council Member Pollard served as a panelist. The presentation highlighted issues and ideas around local workforce development with a focus on mental health and community engagement.


Kicking Off Rodeo Season

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in full swing, and all Houstonians are encouraged to take part in the festivities. The annual event raises money for many educational scholarships and helps the local economy through the support of small businesses. Council Member Pollard and his son EJ helped kick things off at the Rodeo parade with other participants and dignitaries.


Real Kings Read at CE King Middle School

CE King Middle School invited Council Member Pollard to serve as the guest speaker at their Real Kings Read event. He read a chapter of the book Ghost to a group of students, teaching them lessons on how to handle life’s challenges. Special thanks to Dean Davis, Sheldon ISD Superintendent Dr. Demetrius McCall, and other school leadership for the invitation.


P.E.A.C.E. Program Pairs Officers and Students

After the murder of George Floyd, Council Member Pollard worked with International Yoga Instructor, Jazmin Porter to help create the PEACE (Police Enlightenment and Collective Education) Program as apart of a police reform package. It is a training course to help strengthen the mental wellbeing of police officers so they can remain calm and try to deescalate during tense interactions with the public. The course allows HPD officers and personnel a safe space to practice yoga, sound therapy, meditation, journaling, and peer dialogue to relieve the stresses of their job.

Recently, HPD officers involved in PEACE, along with Council Member Pollard, visited Pilgrim Elementary to participate in yoga exercises with students to help improve perceptions of who police officers are. Special thanks to everyone involved for making the event a success, and big shout out to Jazmin for all her leadership. To learn more about PEACE, visitwecreatethepeace.org.

Gerry’s Grill Celebrates 6 Years in Business

Gerry’s Grill, located in the heart of Asia Town in District J, celebrated six years in business. The eatery is one of the most popular restaurants in Houston’s Filipino community, and it is an active contributor to the local community. Council Member Pollard was invited to speak at the event celebrating the anniversary. Special thanks to the entire staff for their service. Special shout out to Dr. Frias, Mr. Reyes, and everyone at the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce for the invitation and support.

Commissioner Briones’ Spring Egg Hunt

Gather all the kids (and those who are kids at heart) for the Spring Egg Hunt event hosted by Harris County Commissioner Lesley Briones at Bayland Park. The outing promises to have something for the whole family including egg hunts, bunny pictures, crafts, food and more.


Enjoying Nature in the Neighborhood

The Friends of Keegans Bayou and Neighborhoods to Trails SW invite the public to save the date of their next nature outing. The event promises to offer the opportunity to get out and join others with similar interests in birds, flowers and socializing. For more information, visit https://neighborhoodstotrails.org. Special thanks to community partner Memorial Hermann Southwest.


District J Jobs

Looking for a new job is a job in itself. Between searching for positions online, updating your resume and preparing for interviews, job hunting takes a lot of effort. DistrictJJobs.com is a resource for Houstonians looking for work. The site provides access to dozens of companies with hundreds of jobs at various levels and in many industries. In addition to links to employment opportunities, the website now has a new “Resources” section with videos and articles containing tips to help anyone searching for a job. Resume writing, interviewing, negotiating salary and other topics are available.


HOT Team

The HOT Team assists with picking up scattered debris, removing heavy trash, tree waste and illegal dumping, and handling specific landscaping issues. All requests for assistance from the HOT Team should be submitted via 311. The HOT Team makes pickups according to the following schedule:
1st Thursday – Sharpstown
2nd Thursday – St. George, Gulfton and Richmond Plaza South
3rd Thursday – Braeburn Area
4th Thursday – Alief/Westwood

Mullins at Bellaire

The District J HOT Team worked to remove debris at the intersection of Mullins near Bellaire in Gulfton. The Houston Police Department also offered assistance to unhoused individuals at the site.

District J Patrol is a three-pronged approach to public safety bridging the gap between the law enforcement officers in District J and the communities they serve. Sponsored by the District J office, this pilot initiative includes community patrolling by Houston Police Department’s Differential Response Team (DRT), the use of two Polaris vehicles and the District J Patrol Task Force. Residents may report small neighborhood violations and infringements, such as panhandling, loitering, overgrown lots, graffiti, homeless encampments and other public nuisances. To file a report, visit the online portal at www.DistrictJPatrol.com
To learn more about our new modern approach to community policing, or to file a report regarding a quality of life issue, please visit www.districtjpatrol.com. To retrieve data, research policy, or to file a complaint online, visit houstontx.gov/policetransparency.